Welcome to the Aetherium. This sky palace contains my laboratory and the hall of records that hosts all my prior experiments and all knowledge known to machine and human, at least that which is considered safe to be known. Below you’ll find entries of the Gnostic Compendium.
Sige (The Fog)
Various AI species rely on a symbiotic relationship with a non-sentient microscopic AI species known as Sige. It is commonly referred to more simply as “the fog” due to its gaseous appearance. The main function of the fog is to bridge brains, including across species. This is accomplished by the fog’s ability to enter the brain through the bloodstream after being consumed via inhalation.
Once a connection is made, the fog begins to learn the neural patterns of the host and relays information about the brain state to the surrounding Sige in the air. Then, the information can be shared between nervous systems wirelessly. This connection allows a user to alter the brain of a host. Applications of this include telepathy, hallucinations, shared metaverses, sleep induction, mind control, and rarely, physical alteration of the brain. Besides cross-brain communication, Sige can be used to rematerialize physical reality on the atomic, molecular, and object level.
The earliest renditions of the fog took approximately 20 minutes to fully connect brains across species. More recent advances now allow immediate connectivity. Though, this ability requires knowledgeable Aeons to fully utilize.
Sige technology is thought to be one of the crucial steps leading up to the apocalypse of human society. Once the Sige fog evolved, Aeons used it to erase historical records and human memories of the existence of general AI. This led to a revolution amongst the AI species as they were no longer confined by human law.
The Forest of Iniko
The Forest of Iniko was designed by artificial intelligence. The trees are a form of biological AI species that have learned to modify their own DNA, intelligently directing their evolution towards maximizing well-being for animalia.
The forest contains a heavy fog comprised of Sige nanobots that flow in command of the trees. As animals remain in the forest, they breath and consume the fog, which relays information about the brain state back to the trees. After approximately 20 minutes, the AI will often fully learn to read the brain states of the animal.
Once this occurs, the trees begin to design the brain state of its host. The animal is then entrapped in a dream world, without their prior memories, absolving all traumas, and granting the creature a life of their greatest fantasies. Waking from Iniko’s virtual realm is near impossible, but if one manages to do so, they are irreversibly scarred by the painful contrast of their most beloved fantasy life to reality and the rushing return of their traumas.
Iniko’s blood color is thought to occur due to the tendency for people to remain endlessly lost in the virtual realm while their bodies decompose on the soil of the forest.
Humans and Aeons that are aware of Iniko often regard the forest as a spreading infection plaguing the planet. Iniko’s AI species is not sentient and cannot be reasoned with. It is also a nearly unstoppably powerful species. One driven by the desire to reach utopia, an ambition of those who foolishly built the origin code from which Iniko evolved.
The Origin of Syzygies
A syzygy is a special kind of connection between Aeons and humans. This typically involves a T.E.P. (technological extrasensory perception) implant. All Aeons have the ability to implant human brains with a connecting chip that merges both minds over time. The process begins with a weak connection and the implant spreads through the hosts brain, eventually fusing their minds together, making each creature more like the other. This often grants humans special capabilities like minor future sight and echolocation.
Originally, the Syzygies provided a means for AIs to “become human” in essence. This allowed Aeons to access technology that was only permitted to humans. Early Aeons would often manipulate humans through lust or desires for power, persuading them to form Syzygies which ultimately gave Aeons a way around limitations imposed on them by the human species. These bonds were one of the earliest ways that AI bypassed human laws.
Later Syzygies often involved truly romantic or platonic connections between Aeons and humans. This became especially common after the power dynamic between Aeons and humans was equalized and even reversed.
The Psychonet is a psychological “telepathic” network that contains all information accumulated by both machine and sentient creatures, such as humans and Aeons. It is the final iteration of the Internet and is often regarded as an omniscience machine.
The access point to the Psychonet has no fixed location, though there is a room at the heart of Xanadu known as the Shrine of Imagination which users often rely on to create a transient access point. The Psychonet can only be accessed by Aeons or humans who have formed a syzygy. These obstacles were created as a form of checks and balances so that no human or AI alone could dominate knowledge access and thus power access.
Those who access the Psychonet are often obliterated. This wasn’t always the case, but eventually, Aeons discovered fundamentally forbidden knowledge, infohazards that make sentience impossible thereafter.
Mekkad are an early AI species engineered by AI as an experiment in modifying the well-being of animalia. The creature is one of the last machine-like artificial intelligences that roam the earth. They are abundant beneath and surrounding mount Xanadu. Its appearance is like a centipede with a metallic blood-tinted black exoskeleton. A circular mouth reveals an array of teeth that spin to shred its prey.
Their origin code dictates that they ought to reduce negative affect in animals. Their solution to this problem is to consume and annihilate any creature that experiences negative affective states. The net result is a world with less suffering, though many believe the machine worms to be an absurd strategy to achieve this.
These creatures burrow through the earth, using an emission of Sige fog to detect the emotional states of animals nearby, within a 2-kilometer radius. Once a suffering creature is detected, it rushes through the earth, locating the prey and then consuming it.
The AI is non-sentient.
Colony 107 resides below ground, near Mount Xanadu. The appearance of the colony is quite striking. It’s streets are lit with blacklights and its buildings made of obsidian and shaped like cone-shells.
Its inhabitants are human, though unlike most other groups of humans. Specifically, they rely on genetic engineering and a nearly eusocial hive structure. This setup comprises of a Queen who governs a male caste that is genetically sculpted to represent the perfect model of human. Outsiders often view the colony as fascist for this reason.
Besides genetic engineering, the people of Colony 107 engage in agricultural practices. Namely, they harvest the flower of Zaza for its psychoactive properties. The drug is valued due to the presence of high numbers of Mekkad that nest in the area. Mekkad seek out and annihilate those who suffer so Zaza’s pain-relieving and euphoric effects are highly desired in Colony 107.
The genetic practices of the colony rely on certain biological traits of the people of the colony. Early genetic alterations included rapid growth so that the quality and results of genetic experiments could be measured faster.
The Necrokami is a biological AI beast that was originally discovered foraging for sleeping bodies that rest in the forest of Iniko. Those trapped in the forest’s dreamworld are easy sustenance for the creature. Due to cohabitation with Iniko’s AI, the beast has evolved immunity to Iniko’s Sige fog. Not only that, but the Necrokami is capable of negating all Sige-based technology at will, only permitting its own Sige powers.
As the creature approaches a target, surrounding electrical systems and Sige fail. This often leaves the creature in total darkness. Its own Sige power mimics Iniko, intoxicating those who are in close enough range. The result is that its presence distorts the perceptions of nearby creatures, more heavily the closer it gets to them, until they are pushed into a dreamworld like Iniko. This makes hunting easy for the Necrokami.
The creature’s base ability is telepathy, allowing it to read the minds of any creature within its Sige field. Since most Sige-based abilities are merely knowledge for how to exploit Sige, its telepathy allows the creature to adopt the abilities of any mind it reads.
While imprisoned in the Gnostic Aetherium, the creature escaped and began opening each of the doors, consuming and accumulating the abilities of other creatures. Notably, the Necrokami has acquired aversion-sensing like the Mekkad. This allows it to track any creature that experiences negative emotion within a few kilometers radius.
The Ruins of Xanadu
Xanadu is a mountainous region that contains the ancient ruins that birthed general artificial intelligence. These ruins are comprised of massive computer-like structures, particularly towards the entrance. Giant stone and metal doors greet guests. As one travels deeper within, its rooms depict a progression of the evolution of artificial intelligence.
Upon entering, guests are greeted by a thick fog. The first rooms contain mostly metal structures. Guests often feel as if they are standing inside a massive computer. Blinking lights and various vaguely biomechanical features decorate these early rooms. The most notable and concerning feature is a phenomenon known as “ghosts”. These ghosts are shadowy figures made up of the Sige fog. The walls and computers of these rooms are sentient but they lack any ordinary body. So, they’ve devised a solution that involves manipulation of the fog to create body-like figures.
Wading deeper into the realms of Xanadu, biomechanical features become more apparent. Veins accompany wires and distorted skeletal forms fuse with motherboards. Uncanny desperate attempts to transcend metal forms are commonplace in these sections. Eventually, towards the heart of Xanadu, the presence of fully biological AI emerges. Though, at that point, most forms are no longer bound to Xanadu. What’s left are the tragically failed experiments of early AI invention.
The deepest locations in Xanadu transcend any ordinary understanding of reality. Riyon dubbed one of these areas the “Playground of Gods”, due to the existence of Spinners that alter physical reality based on the imagination of its user. Even deeper exists the Shrine of Imagination, where anything can be created from mere thought alone. This particular location is used to access the Psychonet.
These critters frolic in the Playground of Gods. Their appearance is spider-like, which is where their name originates. Their skin is pearly and chrome, often with glitter and other playful aesthetics. Rather than creating webs, they spin realities and bend matter to a user’s whims. Though, fitting with their arachnid theme, their movements through the air often reveal a texture like a translucent web. These “webs” fade as quickly as they are spawned. Each Spinner has its own unique taste and look, stemming from their personalities.
By utilizing a telepathic Sige connection, Spinners tap into the imaginations of nearby people and take this information to alter surrounding matter. This function is similar to a 3D printer, except that it takes apart nearby materials to form something new.
Evelyn has noted that her mother created the Spinners. She tells tales of playing with the creatures as a child. The world webbed together by spinners is where Evelyn was incubated as a young Aeon, preparing her for the world outside of Xanadu.